The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
Sotheby's is a British-founded American multinational corporation headquartered in New York City. One of the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, real estate, collectibles, Sotheby's operation is divided into three segments: auction and dealer; the company's services range from corporate art services to private sales. It is named after one of John Sotheby. Sotheby's is the world's fourth oldest auction house in continuous operation, with 90 locations in 40 countries; as of December 2011, the company had 1,446 employees worldwide. It is the world's largest art business with global sales in 2011 totalling $5.8 billion. Sotheby's was established on 11 March 1744 in London; the American holding company was incorporated in August 1983 in Michigan. In June 2006, Sotheby's Holdings, Inc. reincorporated in the State of Delaware and was renamed Sotheby's. In July 2016, Chinese insurance company Taikang Life became Sotheby's largest shareholder. Sotheby's predecessor and Leigh, was founded in London on 11 March 1744, when Samuel Baker presided over the disposal of "several hundred scarce and valuable" books from the library of Rt Hon Sir John Stanley Bt. of Alderley.
Three Swedish auction houses are older and Sotheby's great rival in London and New York, Christie's, dates from 1759 or shortly after. The current business dates back to 1804, when two of the partners of the original business left to set up their own book dealership; the library Napoleon took with him into exile at St Helena, as well as the library collections of John Wilkes, Benjamin Heywood Bright and the Dukes of Devonshire and of Buckingham were sold through Samuel Baker's auctions. After Baker's death in 1778, his estate was divided between John Sotheby. George Leigh died unmarried in 1816, but not before endeavouring to secure his succession by recruiting Samuel E Leigh into the business. Under the Sotheby family, the auction house extended its activities to auctioning prints and coins. John Wilkinson, Sotheby's Senior Accountant, became the company's new CEO; the business did not seek to auction fine arts in general until much their first major success in this field being the sale of a Frans Hals painting for nine thousand guineas as late as 1913.
In 1917, Sotheby's relocated from 13 Wellington Street to 34-35 New Bond Street, which remains as its London base to this day. They soon came to rival Christie's as leaders of the London auction market, which had become the most important for art. In 1955, Sotheby's opened an office at New York City. In 1964, Sotheby's purchased Parke-Bernet the largest auctioneer of fine art in the United States. In the following year, Sotheby's moved to New York. With international popularity of fine art auction growing, Sotheby's opened offices in Paris and Los Angeles in 1967, became the first auction house to operate in Hong Kong in 1973, Moscow in 1988. Sotheby's became a U. K. public company in 1977. A 25 percent drop from the 1980–81 record of $610 million in sales contributed to Sotheby's decision to relocate its North American headquarters from Madison Avenue to a former cigar factory at 1334 York Avenue, New York, in 1982; the auction house closed its Madison Avenue galleries at East 76th Street. The Los Angeles galleries were sold and auctions of West Coast material moved to New York.
In the following year, a group of investors privatized Sotheby's. Sotheby's was incorporated as Sotheby's Holdings, Inc. in Michigan in August 1983. Taubman took Sotheby's public in 1988, listing the company's shares on the New York Stock Exchange, making Sotheby's the oldest publicly traded company on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "BID." In June 2006, Sotheby's Holdings, Inc. reincorporated in the State of Delaware and was renamed Sotheby's shortly after. With private transactions constituting an essential and profitable business segment, through the years Sotheby's has bought art galleries and helped dealers finance purchases, it has gone into partnership with dealers on private sales. In 1990, Sotheby's teamed up with dealer William Acquavella, to form Acquavella Modern Art, a Nevada general partnership and a subsidiary of Sotheby's Holding Company; the subsidiary paid $143 million for the contents of the Pierre Matisse Gallery in Manhattan, which included about 2,300 works by such artists as Miró, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall, began selling the works both at auction and privately.
In 1996, Sotheby's acquired Andre Emmerich Gallery to operate a division called Emmerich/Sotheby's, in 1997 it purchased a 50% interest in Deitch Projects. As a consequence, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the main beneficiary of the artists' estates, as well as the estates of Morris Louis and Milton Avery announced that they would not renew their Emmerich contracts; that decision came right after it was disclosed that Sotheby's had decided to close Emmerich's prime space at 41 East 57th Street, that its artists would be handled out of Deitch Projects. Sotheby's subsequently closed Andre Emmerich in 1998 and sold its share in Deitch Projects back to Jeffrey Deitch. In 2006, Sotheby's acquired a Dutch dealership, Noortman Master Paintings, from its owner, Robert Noortman, for $82.5 million. Sotheby's and Noortman had collaborated before in 1995, when the sales of Dutch plastic millionaire Joost Ritman were divided between the two companies. In 1990, Sotheby's New
The Serbs are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group that formed in the Balkans. The majority of Serbs inhabit the nation state of Serbia, as well as the disputed territory of Kosovo, the neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, they form significant minorities in North Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, outside Europe there are significant communities in North America and Australia; the Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion; the Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro. The modern identity of Serbs is rooted in traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires. Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, Kosovo Myth.
When the Principality of Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the national identity, instead of language, shared by other South Slavs. The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity, is regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day; the origin of the ethnonym is unclear. Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity with the rest of the Balkan peoples, those within former Yugoslavia. Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres. Slavs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries. Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement through Byzantine foederati colonies; the Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century. What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.
This area was intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The numerous Slavs assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population; the history of the early medieval Serbian Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando Imperio, which describes the Serbs as a people living in Roman Dalmatia, subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. With the decline of the Serbian state of Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška" separated from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince Stefan Nemanja conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo and Zachlumia; the Nemanjić dynasty ruled over Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić, became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, became known as Saint Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous minor principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire; the medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Stefan Dušan, who ruled the state from 1331 until his death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included Macedonia, northern Greece and all of modern Albania; when Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor. With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the Balkans in the 1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first major battle was the Battle of Maritsa, in which the Serbs were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the battle, with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains; these states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the Balšić family, Raška, Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the Branković family and Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central Serbia and a portion of Kosovo.
Hrebeljanović was subsequently accepted as the titular leader of the Serbs because he was married to a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the Serbs faced the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo on the plain of Kosovo Polje, near the town of Pristina. Both Lazar and Sultan Murad; the battle most ended in a stalemate, afterwards Serbia enjoyed a short period of prosperity under despot Stefan Lazarević and resisted failing to the Turks until 1459. The Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans against the Ottoman Empire, organized uprisings. After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman Empire in 1686 during the Great Turkish War, Serbs from Pannonian Plain joined the troops of the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as Serbian Militia. Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined
Painting is the practice of applying paint, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives and airbrushes, can be used; the final work is called a painting. Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, composition, narration, or abstraction. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational, abstract, symbolistic, emotive, or political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by religious art. Examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery, to Biblical scenes Sistine Chapel ceiling, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of Eastern religious origin. In art, the term painting describes the result of the action; the support for paintings includes such surfaces as walls, canvas, glass, pottery, leaf and concrete, the painting may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, paper, gold leaf, as well as objects.
Color, made up of hue and value, dispersed over a surface is the essence of painting, just as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music. Color is subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West; some painters, theoreticians and scientists, including Goethe and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a color equivalent; the word "red", for example, can cover a wide range of variations from the pure red of the visible spectrum of light. There is not a formalized register of different colors in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as F or C♯. For a painter, color is not divided into basic and derived colors. Painters deal with pigments, so "blue" for a painter can be any of the blues: phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, Cobalt blue, so on. Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not speaking, means of painting.
Colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, because of this, the perception of a painting is subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music is analogous to "light" in painting, "shades" to dynamics, "coloration" is to painting as the specific timbre of musical instruments is to music; these elements do not form a melody of themselves. Modern artists have extended the practice of painting to include, as one example, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense; some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, many others; these images can be printed onto traditional canvas. Jean Metzinger's mosaic-like Divisionist technique had its parallel in literature. I make a kind of chromatic versification and for syllables I use strokes which, variable in quantity, cannot differ in dimension without modifying the rhythm of a pictorial phraseology destined to translate the diverse emotions aroused by nature.
Rhythm, for artists such as Piet Mondrian, is important in painting as it is in music. If one defines rhythm as "a pause incorporated into a sequence" there can be rhythm in paintings; these pauses allow creative force to intervene and add new creations—form, coloration. The distribution of form, or any kind of information is of crucial importance in the given work of art, it directly affects the aesthetic value of that work; this is because the aesthetic value is functionality dependent, i.e. the freedom of perception is perceived as beauty. Free flow of energy, in art as well as in other forms of "techne", directly contributes to the aesthetic value. Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul. Wassily Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. Kandinsky theorized that "music is the ultimate teacher," and subsequently embarked upon the first seven of his ten Compositions.
Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that, yellow is the color of middle C on a brassy trumpet. In 1871 the young Kandinsky learned to play the cello. Kandinsky's stage design for a performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" illustrates his "synaesthetic" concept of a universal correspondence of forms and musical sounds. Music d
Fencing is a group of three related combat sports. The three disciplines in modern fencing are the foil, the épée, the sabre. A fourth discipline, appeared in the 1904 Olympics but was dropped after that, is not a part of modern fencing. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, the French school refining the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each of which uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules. Most competitive fencers choose to specialize in one weapon only. Competitive fencing is one of the five activities which have been featured in every modern Olympic Games, the other four being athletics, cycling and gymnastics. Fencing is governed by Fédération Internationale d'Escrime. Today, its head office is in Switzerland; the FIE is composed of 145 national federations, each of, recognised by its state Olympic Committee as the sole representative of Olympic-style fencing in that country.
The FIE maintains the current rules used by FIE sanctioned international events, including world cups, world championships and the Olympic Games. The FIE handles proposals to change the rules the first year after an Olympic year in the annual congress; the US Fencing Association has different rules, but adheres to FIE standards. Fencing traces its roots to the development of swordsmanship for duels and self defense. Fencing is believed to have originated in Spain. Treatise on Arms was written by Diego de Valera between 1458 and 1471 and is one of the oldest surviving manuals on western fencing shortly before dueling came under official ban by the Catholic Monarchs. In conquest, the Spanish forces carried fencing around the world to southern Italy, one of the major areas of strife between both nations. Fencing was mentioned in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor written sometime prior to 1602; the mechanics of modern fencing originated in the 18th century in an Italian school of fencing of the Renaissance, under their influence, were improved by the French school of fencing.
The Spanish school of fencing was replaced by the Italian and French schools. The shift towards fencing as a sport rather than as military training happened from the mid-18th century, was led by Domenico Angelo, who established a fencing academy, Angelo's School of Arms, in Carlisle House, London in 1763. There, he taught the aristocracy the fashionable art of swordsmanship, his school was run by three generations of his family and dominated the art of European fencing for a century. He established the essential rules of posture and footwork that still govern modern sport fencing, although his attacking and parrying methods were still much different from current practice. Although he intended to prepare his students for real combat, he was the first fencing master to emphasize the health and sporting benefits of fencing more than its use as a killing art in his influential book L'École des armes, published in 1763. Basic conventions were collated and set down during the 1880s by the French fencing master Camille Prévost.
It was during this time that many recognised fencing associations began to appear in different parts of the world, such as the Amateur Fencers League of America was founded in 1891, the Amateur Fencing Association of Great Britain in 1902, the Fédération Nationale des Sociétés d’Escrime et Salles d’Armes de France in 1906. The first regularized fencing competition was held at the inaugural Grand Military Tournament and Assault at Arms in 1880, held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, in Islington in June; the Tournament featured a series of competitions between army soldiers. Each bout was fought for five hits and the foils were pointed with black to aid the judges; the Amateur Gymnastic & Fencing Association drew up an official set of fencing regulations in 1896. Fencing was part of the Olympic Games in the summer of 1896. Sabre events have been held at every Summer Olympics. Starting with épée in 1933, side judges were replaced by the Laurent-Pagan electrical scoring apparatus, with an audible tone and a red or green light indicating when a touch landed.
Foil was automated in 1956, sabre in 1988. The scoring box reduced the bias in judging, permitted more accurate scoring of faster actions, lighter touches, more touches to the back and flank than before. There are three weapons in modern fencing: foil, épée, sabre; each weapon has its own strategies. Equipment needed includes at least 2 swords, a Lame, a white jacket, underarm protector, two body and mask cords, knee high socks and knickers; the foil is a light thrusting weapon with a maximum weight of 500 grams. The foil targets the torso, but not the legs; the foil has a small circular hand guard. As the hand is not a valid target in foil, this is for safety. Touches are scored only with the tip. Touches that lan
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
The Albanians are an ethnic group native to the Balkan Peninsula and are identified by a common Albanian ancestry, culture and language. They live in Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as in Croatia and Italy, they constitute a diaspora with several communities established in the Americas and Oceania. The ethnogenesis of the Albanians and the Albanian language is a matter of controversy among the historians and ethnologists, they appear for the first time in historical records from the 11th century mentioning a tribe of people living in the area which today constitutes the mountainous region around the Mat and Drin. The Shkumbin splits the Albanians into two cultural and linguistical subgroups, the Ghegs and Tosks, though both groups identify with a common ethnic and national culture; the history of the Albanian diaspora is centuries old and has its roots in migration from the Middle Ages established in Southern Europe and subsequently on across other parts of the world. Between the 13th and 18th centuries, sizeable numbers of Albanians migrated to escape either various social, economic or political difficulties.
One population who became the Arvanites settled Southern Greece between the 13th and 16th centuries assimilating into and now self-identifying as Greeks. Another population who emerged as the Arbëreshës settled Sicily and Southern Italy constituting the oldest continuous Albanian diaspora. Smaller populations such as the Arbanasis whose migration dates back to the 18th century are located in Southern Croatia and scattered across Southern Ukraine. In the 13th century, the Ghegs converted to Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy as a means to resist the Slavic Serbs. In the 15th century, Skanderbeg led the medieval Albanian resistance to the Ottoman conquest. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Albanians in large numbers converted to Islam, in part due to the privileged legal and social position of Muslims in the empire and coercion by Ottoman authorities in times of war. Albanians attained important political and military positions within the Ottoman Empire and culturally contributed to the wider Muslim world.
Following the Albanian National Awakening, during the Balkan Wars, in 1912, Albanians were partitioned between the newly-formed Independent Albania and Serbia and Montenegro. From 1945 to 1992, Albania was ruled by a communist government. Albanians in neighbouring Yugoslavia underwent periods of discrimination that concluded with the breakup of that state in the early 1990s and the independence of Kosovo in 2008; the Albanians and their country Albania have been identified by many ethnonyms. The most common native ethnonym is "Shqiptar", plural "Shqiptarë". From these ethnonyms, names for Albanians were derived in other languages, that were or still are in use. In English "Albanians"; the term "Albanoi" is first encountered twice in the works of Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates, the term "Arvanitai" is used once by the same author. He referred to the "Albanoi" as having taken part in a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 1043, to the "Arbanitai" as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium; these references have been disputed as to.
Historian E. Vranoussi believes, she notes that the same term in medieval Latin meant "foreigners". The reference to "Arvanitai" from Attaliates regarding the participation of Albanians in a rebellion around 1078 is undisputed. In Byzantine usage, the terms "Arbanitai" and "Albanoi" with a range of variants were used interchangeably, while sometimes the same groups were called by the classicising name Illyrians; the first reference to the Albanian language dates to the latter 13th century. The ethnonym Albanian has been hypothesized to be connected to and stem from the Albanoi, an Illyrian tribe mentioned by Ptolemy with their centre at the city of Albanopolis. Linguists believe that the alb part in the root word originates from an Indo-European term for a type of mountainous topography, from which other words such as alps are derived. Through the root word alban and its rhotacized equivalents arban and arbar, the term in Albanian became rendered as Arbëneshë/Arbëreshë for the people and Arbënia/Arbëria for the country.
The Albanian language was referred to as Arbërisht. While the exonym Albania for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does have connotations to Classical Antiquity, the Albanian language employs a different ethnonym, with modern Albanians referring to themselves as Shqiptarë and to their country as Shqipëria. Two etymologies have been proposed for this ethnonym: one, derived from the etymology from the Albanian word for eagle. In Albanian folk etymology, this word denotes a bird totem, dating from the times of Skanderbeg as displayed on the Albanian flag; the other is within scholarship that connects it to the verb'to speak' from the Latin "excipere". In this instance the Albanian endonym like Slav and others would have been a term connoting "those who speak [intelligibly, th